By Manpreet Singh, 2009 MBA and President of Seva Call
In 2011, I started Seva Call, a virtual concierge service that quickly connects consumers to high quality professionals. Wharton could not have prepared me better for the trials of entrepreneurship. What I learned at Wharton has guided me both in starting Seva Call and in everyday life.
Here are a few things I learned from attending Wharton:
1. This is an obvious one, but use what you learned in your classes. The large amount of course content we had to sift through taught me how to filter out unnecessary information and make decisions in any given situation. Venture-capitalist-related classes guided me when structuring my first round of funding. Classes like Legal Aspects of Entrepreneurship have helped me with operating my business, including using the NDA and employment agreement templates I got from the class as my first legal contracts.
2. Reach out to different people because you never know who will be able to help you. In one of the core classes, we were asked to write one thing we needed help with on a post-it note and put it on the board. By the end of the day, I had found three people that could help me with my problem.
3. Give back to your community and peers. Reaching out to different people will not only help you, but it could also help those you are reaching out to. Since launching Seva Call, I have had a number of my classmates reach out to me so I could help them. It’s a great feeling when you are able to impact your classmates’ lives, sometimes with a simple conversation or by sending an email.
4. Use the Wharton network to start raising funds. When starting out, the Wharton network helped me set up meetings with venture capitalists and angel investors. I’m proud to say that my anchor investor is a Wharton graduate. Some of my first users of my product were also Wharton alums.
5. Keep in touch with your fellow Wharton classmates. I keep in touch with many Wharton alums by organizing dinners in Washington, DC and elsewhere for Wharton 2009 MBA graduates. My company is a very local business, and having former classmates spread throughout the country has been critical to my getting media coverage in different cities. Sharing a meal is one of the most casual and enjoyable things you can do. Everyone has to eat, why eat alone?
My Wharton degree taught me a great deal about becoming an entrepreneur. I encourage Wharton students to use their Wharton network because I can tell you from my experience that it will help you when you’re starting your own business. Being a Wharton graduate, I would love to help future entrepreneurs with anything they need from pitching their idea, raising money, operating their business, or just trading notes – feel free to get in touch with me.
Manpreet began his entrepreneurial enterprise running a social networking start-up in high school with his brother. As one of the youngest CFA charter holder in the world, Manpreet was profiled by CFA magazine in 2006 as the “Most Ambitious” member, and has been quoted numerous times by Bloomberg, TheStreet.com, and other media. He is a director of the LaKan foundation and is active with many other nonprofits. He is also a charter member of TiE DC.
Manpreet received his MBA from the Wharton School in Entrepreneurship, Finance and Real Estate. He also holds a B.S. in Finance with a citation in Entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland, College Park.